Its paste product Yaso is made from non-GM, 100% natural, soybeans from Hungary that are sprouted under controlled conditions. It has been manufactured and used in Hungary for the last two years across the catering industry and the firm is now focused on entering and gaining traction across Europe at an industrial level.
Fitorex is building a new production facility in the Budapest area set for completion in September 2012 with a 240 tonne capacity per month as the current small-scale factory has reached capacity, Terry Young, Yaso’s UK Representative said.
This raw material ingredient plugs a gap in the market and holds “great potential”, Young told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“Yaso is high in nutritional value, low in carbohydrates and has the ability to produce gluten-free end products,” he said.
“Within a soybean there are lots of insoluble carbohydrates that during the germination process get broken down into sugars. It’s the natural process of germination that reduces the carbohydrate content in the bean,” he explained. This germination process was awarded a patent last year.
The nutritional properties of the bean are also heightened during germination with increased levels of isoflavanoids, betacarotene, vitamin C and E and dietary fibres, he said.
“The team behind this idea wanted a radical approach to healthy eating and took the known health benefits associated with sprouting beans to an industrial level,” Young said.
Gluten-free, but more…
Gluten-free is a fast growing area in bakery, he said, with a significant influx of product development and reformulations across the sector.
Around 10% of the European population consider themselves gluten-intolerant, he detailed, and so there are clear opportunities to be had.
Lidia Szabo, sales and marketing manager at Yaso, said however that gluten-free products with reduced carbohydrates are “unique”.
Being a highly nutritious ingredient yet low in carbohydrate positions it as well suited to special diets such as diabetics or weight loss management as well as celiac consumers, Szabo said.
The soybean paste has the potential to work across a wide range of applications, including bakery, pasta and snacks but the firm’s current end product focus is on crackers and crispbreads.
This is because these are products that Fitorex has tried and tested the ingredient in, Young said, and also because there are strong demands from these segments.
Fitorex is currently in talks with potential partners across other continents as the firm eyes a future on a global scale, he said.